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David Chipperfield: ‘Architecture has been robbed’

David Chipperfield
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David Chipperfield has paid tribute to fellow Royal Gold Medal-winner Zaha Hadid 

The award-winning Iraqi-born architect, who Chipperfield described as ‘original and talented’, died yesterday (31 March) aged just 65.

Chipperfield had recently revisited Zaha’s first built work, the Vitra Fire Station in Germany. He said the visit was a ‘reminder of how rigorous and raw her work could be’.

He added: ‘The death of Zaha robs architecture of one of its most original and talented personalities.

‘Zaha was outspoken and challenged conventional expectations both in her work and in the way she presented herself. This approach was totally genuine, it was not a front or something developed with her growing success.

‘Her determination and confidence were natural and evident already as a student at the Architectural Association. Her talent stood out even then and her course has been uncompromising, clear and inevitable.

‘She held out and took risks in the belief that her ideas could be built.

‘She could be sometimes exasperating but also touchingly loyal to her friends and those she was close to. She was above all else genuine – in her talent, in her approach and in her thoughts.’

Chipperfield added: ‘Amongst all the laments and regrets we must celebrate what she achieved, but I can’t help feeling that we have been cruelly denied a few more chapters and surprises still to come in the Zaha oeuvre.’

Chipperfield was among the many architects shocked at the death of one of architecture’s most widely known figures. Her sudden death has rocked the profession with many taking to social media to express their thoughts on the ‘inspirational’ architect.

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